Articles Posted in Civil Procedure

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D.A. filed a petition for the expungement of several criminal conviction records. The trial court granted the petition and ordered the expungement of certain records related to D.A.’s convictions. Thereafter, Petitioner filed a second petition asking for the expungement of civil forfeiture records. The trial court denied the petition, concluding that the expungment statutes apply to arrests and criminal convictions but not to civil forfeitures. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of D.A. second expungement petition, holding that Indiana’s expungement statutes do not reach civil forfeiture records. View "D.A. v. State" on Justia Law

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The Energy and Policy Institute made three separate requests to Indiana House Representative Eric Koch under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act (APRA) seeking copies of Koch’s correspondence with various business organizations in relation to specific legislation. The Chief Counsel of the Republic Caucus denied each of these requests. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a complaint against Koch and the Indiana House Republic Caucus seeking a declaratory judgment that APRA was applicable to Defendants and that Defendants violated APRA by denying some or all of Plaintiffs’ requests. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of justiciability and, alternatively, for failure to state claim, arguing that Plaintiffs’ requests would interfere with the internal workings of the legislature and should be found non-justiciable on those grounds. The trial court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the question of whether the APRA is generally applicable to the legislature is justiciable, and the APRA does apply to the General Assembly; but (2) the question of whether the APRA requests at issue in this case are exempt from disclosure as legislative “work product” is non-justiciable. View "Citizens Action Coalition of Ind. v. Koch" on Justia Law

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Kentucky attorney Suzanne Cassidy represented Ernest Smith in Kentucky in a federal employment-discrimination lawsuit against his former employers, Dennis Boyer and Richard Smith, and other defendants. Attorney Cassidy subsequently dismissed Boyer and Richard from the suit. Thereafter, Boyer and Richard sued Ernest and Attorney Cassidy in an Indiana state court, alleging, among other tort claims, that the Kentucky suit was frivolous and constituted malicious prosecution. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Ernest and Attorney Cassidy, determining, as relevant to this appeal, that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Attorney Cassidy. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court on the personal jurisdiction issue, holding that Indiana lacked specific jurisdiction over Attorney Cassidy because her conduct did not establish a substantial connection between herself and the state of Kentucky, and thus could not support personal jurisdiction. View "Boyer v. Smith" on Justia Law

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JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. filed a post-judgment motion to intervene in this foreclosure action to protect its interest as assignee of a mortgage on the real estate of Deborah Walton and Margaret Walton. JPMorgan filed its motion three years after a final judgment foreclosing plaintiff Claybridge Homeowners Association’s judgment lien and six years after the suit began. The trial court denied the motion to intervene as untimely. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the motion to intervene was untimely because Plaintiff’s lis pendens notice, filed the day the suit began, provided constructive notice of Plaintiff’s foreclosure action; and (2) the notice was valid because it was based on Plaintiff’s enforceable, unrecorded judgment lien and because Plaintiff’s foreclosure action was not a personal claim but an in rem real estate action to enforce a judgment lien. View "JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Claybridge Homeowners Ass’n" on Justia Law

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Continental Casualty Company and Twin City Fire Insurance Co. (collectively, CNA) petitioned for rehearing with respect to the Supreme Court’s opinion in this matter, Wellpoint, Inc. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co., claiming that a portion of the Court’s opinion exceeded the power granted by Trial Rule 56(B), which provides that when a party has moved for summary judgment, the court may grant summary judgment for any other party upon the issues raised by the motion even where that party does not file a motion for summary judgment. CNA argued that the Court’s opinion, which reversed the trial court’s grant of CNA’s motion for summary judgment, should not have also granted summary judgment for Wellpoint, Inc. and Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. (collectively, Anthem) as to issues not raised by CNA’s summary judgment motion. The Supreme Court concluded that rehearing should be granted to modify its opinion to address only the issues raised in the summary judgment proceeding and modified its opinion in this case accordingly. View "Wellpoint, Inc. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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When Mother and Father’s marriage was dissolved in 1994, the trial court awarded Mother primary care and custody of the parties’ daughter (Daughter) and ordered Father to pay child support. In 2011, after Daughter enrolled at Ball State University (BSU), Mother petitioned to modify child support, requesting that Father pay Daughter’s postsecondary educational expenses. Daughter withdrew from BSU in 2012 and attempted to enroll at Indian University Northwest. BSU, however, would not release Daughter’s official transcript because of her outstanding tuition bill. Mother requested to join BSU as a supplemental defendant. The trial court granted the request and ordered BSU to release the transcript. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the trial court’s order was appealable as of right under Indiana Appellate Rule 14(A)(3); and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in granting Mother’s motion for joinder, as Mother failed to carry her burden in demonstrating that BSU was a necessary party under Trial Rule 19. View "Ball State University v. Irons" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff was an abusive litigant. In this case, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant, which the trial court dismissed for failure to prosecute or comply with applicable rules under Ind. Trial Rule 41(E). The court of appeals dismissed Plaintiff’s appeal with prejudice for Plaintiff’s failure to file a timely brief and appendix. The Supreme Court denied Plaintiff’s petition to transfer jurisdiction and refrained from imposing sanctions or restrictions. This per curiam opinion also gave guidance to the state’s courts on options when confronted with abusive and vexatious litigation practices. View "Zavodnik v. Harper" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure